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Coming-of-age memoir takes readers to fly-over country

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Taylor Brorby loves his home and the land he grew up on, but that love is complicated by intolerance and environmental degradation.

Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe talks with Brorby about the destruction of his homeland in Center, North Dakota, which is the focal point of his coming-of-age memoir, Boys and Oil: growing up gay in a fractured land. Brorby is giving an Aldo Leopold Distinguished Lecture at the University of Northern Iowa at 7 p.m. October 12 in Lang Hall Auditorium.

Later in the hour, Rubén Vázquez recently joined United Way of Central Iowa as their first-ever Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer. Nebbe chats with Vázquez about how his childhood emigrating from Mexico City to the Twin Cities and decades of experience in social justice and civic engagement have prepared him for this role.


  • Taylor Brorby, author and Annie Tanner Clark Fellow in Environmental Humanities and Environmental Justice, University of Utah
  • Rubén Vázquez, Chief DEI Officer, United Way of Central Iowa
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.